When and how can you create email marketing campaigns for free and when do you know that a professional software is called for? For us here at Mailify, a professional email marketing solution is an asset which most companies can’t ignore! Try out the app for free clicking here.
Since Ray Tomlinson sent the first email back in 1971, email popularity has only increased. The number of emails sent each year is consistently increasing, as is the number of email addresses worldwide. And that, subject to access to internet connection, is free.
If we forget the deliverability, along with all the notions of backup and data management, sending an email with a free webmail can be quite tempting. And it’s true that we can create emails easily, choose the subject line, the font, colours and add images, etc.
Let’s say a free webmail or free email software is enough… to send an invitation that that awesome barbeque you’re having next Saturday for your 37 contacts/friends.
Of course, it is useless to try and send email marketing to your business partners with Outlook, Yahoo or Gmail.
Check out a brief recap of how a paid solution compares to free email providers:
Now let’s take a closer look at each of these aspects in more depth…
01) Mass emailing
Free email providers are great for sending individual emails or to a small group of people at a time. If the recipients know you already, there’s no issue.
However, these providers are not meant to send out large volumes of emails . In addition, most free webmails impose a maximum limit of sending per message. The solution that many have come to use is to create groups of contacts and send the newsletter several times.
Is it really necessary to explain why this method should be banned? Possibly. The first major problem is deliverability. By doing so, your IP address is considered to be illicit and not professional – which is very suspicious in the eyes of spam filters. And the more emails of yours end up in the spam folder, the more suspicious you will be.
Using a professional email marketing solution allows you to overcome this problem by providing you with professional mailing servers, and IP addresses dedicated specifically to sending out mass mailing.
02) Send in bulk, while approaching each contact individually
You would like to personally contact each of your contacts, but you can’t send personalized emails one by one. With a free email provider, you can send to multiple recipients at the same time, but the email will be the same for everyone – it won’t be personalized.
This approach is difficult and much more time-consuming, while not doing any favours to your campaigns – as people won’t be motivated, the power of personalization will be absent.
The solution: customize your emails! With a professional email marketing solution, you can (and should!) customize the subject line and the content of your emails according to each recipient and send them all at the same time
For example, you may choose to add the first name of each of your recipients to greet them in your professional emails. “Hey [First Name], you might like our new collection… “ Each recipient will see their own name at the beginning of the email, and feel closer to you.
03) Managing your contact lists
With a free webmail such as Gmail or Outlook, the management of contacts is very complicated or just plain impossible. There are no clear tables with contact information – making it impossible to automate the addition of contacts to a list, to qualify the contacts, to filter them… In short, no type of targeting is possible.
This is another reason to opt for a professional email marketing software. All these manipulations are feasible with a real software, and targeting is probably one of the most important steps of email marketing
With a traditional email provider, you will not have control over the choice of recipients of your campaigns.
04) Manage subscription to your database
A contact list is always evolving, as new contacts are inserted and some of them regularly unsubscribe – which is perfectly normal.
If subscription management can be done manually with ease, it will be only with a small number of contacts. Quickly, the volume of contacts will become difficult to manage when they reach the hundreds or thousands.
If you want to increase your database, you will need a registration form that you can share and customize as you see fit. With free email platforms, this is just not possible.
A professional tool allows the creation of forms that are directly linked to your database, updating it in real time. This means that when someone subscribes, their data is automatically placed in your contact list.
In addition, you have the option to create any type of form and request all the information you want from your contacts. In other words, you automate the registration of new contacts and can get new information with no effort.
Here is an example of a registration form you can find at the Mailify template gallery:
05) Manage unsubscriptions from your email marketing
Feeding your database automatically is good. But another aspect of email marketing that can never be overlooked is the managing of cancellations of subscriptions – also known as unsubscriptions.
If you want to send newsletters as a company, the law requires that you insert an unsubscription link so people can choose to leave your database. When you use a free email service, you need to create this link yourself.
Additionally, you’ll have to manually delete the contacts that wish to unsubscribe from your list. And in this case, it’s best that you do not forget a single unsubscriber, as continuing to send out emails to unsubscribers can result in heavy fines, among other unpleasant legal actions.
For more security, choose the right email marketing solution. This way, your unsubscription links are automatically generated and connected to your database, so that as soon as a contact clicks the link, that contact stops receiving any emails from you.
06) Benefit from a custom domain name
Gmail.com; Outlook.com or Hotmail.com… are optimized for sending emails privately. If you use those domains to send a few emails, don’t worry.
On the other hand, if you are sending messages to a large group of people, you will need your own domain name to be considered relevant and professional. That’s why the vast majority of companies have their own domain name, which they use to send out email marketing campaigns.
Therefore, you need to make sure that you can integrate your custom domain into your email routing tool. This allows you to:
- Ensure its deliverability
- Build trust between you can your recipients
- Preserve your reputation as a sender over the long term
- Maximize the performance of your campaigns
07) Preview your email marketing campaigns
Sending a test email to verify that everything looks as it should is easy and free. Whatever your tool, you have that possibility.
On the other hand, if you want to check the appearance of your message in every possible inbox, you will need a specialized tool.
Professional email solutions often suggest that you view your email in different email providers, to make sure it displays correctly to all of your recipients.
This is a step that shouldn’t be ignored, as it avoids surprises and optimizes the readability of your message – therefore, its performance in terms of clicks.
We all receive more emails than we can/want to read. And with that in mind, always remember that you have to stand out from the sea of competition – and design is a great way to differentiate yourself.
So to stand out and be noticed by your contacts, design will be the key element. A classic and free email editor such as Outlook doesn’t do much except change font colours and adding images.
An email marketing solution allows you to create a professional and visually pleasant email design by adding, for example, a background colour, structuring the content as you wish, modifying the images, etc…
And even if you don’t feel creative or don’t have the time to craft a whole design from the ground up – most email marketing softwares offer ready-made templates that you only need to personalize to reflect your brand.
09) Create a responsive design for your email marketing
Everything should be perfect before you send out your emails. However, even if your email is displayed correctly in your computer screen, it doesn’t necessarily mean that will be just like that when read on smartphones, or tablets.
By using a free email program, it is impossible to create an email that can adapt to any reading device. You will need a professional software that can create a fully responsive design.
In sending email marketing, having a responsive design means the automatic adjustment of an email according to the screen in which it appears. Because of this, when an email is said to be responsive, its structure is not exactly the same on every possible screen – but rather, the order and positioning of each element will adapt itself.
Today, more than 50% of all e mails are read on mobile devices worldwide. With such a large number, it’s not difficult to understand the importance of using a professional email marketing software to create and submit your campaigns.
10) Get detailed statistical reports
Let us return to the previous example of that wonderful barbecue you were having for 37 people. This situation, in fact, does not call for statistical reports – we are all sure the turnout will be great.
But let’s say you send a promotional campaign to 4000 people. In this case, having statistical feedback at your fingertips can be very helpful with knowing how successful your campaign really was.
And yes, professional email marketing tools provide statistics that illuminate the results of each campaign – and open the door to identify issues and mistakes.
Check out the most important statistics to keep an eye on:
- Opening rate of your emails
- Click through rate on your links
- Reading time (unique to Mailify)
- Reading device used
To summarize it all, using a professional email marketing software allows for noticeable savings in matters of time and reputation, optimizes deliverability, greater segmentation and targeting possibilities and, above all, the greater performance of your direct marketing.
Now, it is quite clear that using a free email service provider or a free webmail is not enough for email marketing. What about you? Are you ready to have campaigns that bring in real, palpable results?